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Creating a Caring Community

Stritch Buddy Program

Stritch program helps international students feel at home

The Stritch Buddy Program creates opportunities for international students to form connections both on campus and in Milwaukee.

The program pairs an international student with a domestic student. Local Buddies are available to answer any questions their International Buddies may have about Stritch, the English language or life in the United States. Local Buddies invite their International Buddies to participate in activities on and off campus. The program also hosts group activities, such as an upcoming hike on September 11.

Keeley Madison, ELL specialist, was inspired through personal experience to create the program.

As an international graduate student studying in Germany, she received guidance and peace of mind through the school’s buddy program.

“I would have been lost without the buddy that was assigned to me,” said Madison. “Her help was invaluable as I was navigating an unfamiliar academic system.”

When she arrived at Stritch in 2019, Madison immediately saw an opportunity to help students connect.

“I met some international students who were not interacting with anyone else, were struggling with English and hardly ever left campus,” said Madison. “I knew right away that we needed a Buddy Program!”

The Stritch Buddy Program aims to fulfill Stritch’s mission of creating a caring community by helping international students feel at home before they even arrive in the country.

“The program serves as a cultural exchange, providing both international and domestic students with an enriched worldview and an expanded network of peers and resources,” said Madison.

International students who would like a Buddy — or domestic students who would like to help out an international student by becoming their Buddy — can join the Stritch Buddy Program by contacting Keeley Madison. You can also follow the program on Instagram.